Manchester United transfer news: Red Devils ‘identify Casemiro replacement’

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Manchester United transfer news: Red Devils ‘identify Casemiro replacement’

Manchester United allegedly view Benfica midfielder Joao Neves as their number one replacement for Casemiro this summer.

Manchester United reportedly view Joao Neves as their number one replacement for Casemiro this summer, with the latter widely expected to leave Old Trafford in the upcoming market.

Casemiro moved to Old Trafford from Real Madrid in the summer of 2022, and he impressed during his first season with the Red Devils, but his performances were criticised last term.

The Brazilian still has another two years left to run on his contract, with the option of a further 12 months, but he was left out of the starting XI for the FA Cup final and is wanted by clubs in Saudi Arabia.

Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal are said to lead the race for the 32-year-old, who is Man United’s biggest earner, collecting in the region of £350,000 a week at Old Trafford.

According to United Update, Man United view Benfica‘s Neves as their number one target to replace Casemiro, with the Portugal international potentially being paired with Kobbie Mainoo in the Red Devils midfield.

© Reuters

Man United ‘want Neves to replace Casemiro’

Neves’s future is currently the subject of much speculation, with Manchester City also said to be keen to sign the 19-year-old during the summer transfer window.

Portugal head coach Roberto Martinez recently said that the youngster “100%” has what it takes to represent a team of Man United’s ilk.

However, his international teammate Bernardo Silva has urged the midfielder to turn down a move to Old Trafford in order to join him at Man City next season.

There is a €120m (£101.9m) release clause in Neves’s contract at Benfica, placing the Portuguese giants in a strong position when it comes to his future.

The teenager is currently with the Portugal squad preparing for Euro 2024, and he is expected to play an important role for his country at the tournament.

Benfica's Joao Neves in action on September 20, 2023© Reuters

Is a deal realistic this summer?

Man United are believed to be confident that they will be able to negotiate with Benfica, as a deal at Neves’s release clause would be almost impossible this summer.

An exit for Casemiro, and indeed for Christian Eriksen and Donny van de Beek, would see Man United remove huge salaries from their budget, though, and Raphael Varane and Anthony Martial will no longer be receiving substantial wages beyond the end of this month.

The Red Devils simply have to move for a new midfielder in the upcoming window, and Neves is regarded as a serious talent in world football, making 55 appearances for Benfica last term.

Benfica are believed to be interested in Mason Greenwood, with the Portuguese club’s sporting director said to have met with the Man United forward and his father to discuss a move.

As a result, there could perhaps be a deal to be done involving Greenwood, but a lot of things would need to fall into place for the 20-time English champions to bring Neves to Old Trafford.

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